Imagine all your favorite programs, files, and folders just a single click away. If you’re chatting with a friend and you want to open a particular folder, you don’t start browsing to it in Windows Explorer; instead, you click the middle mouse button and there it will be, right in front of you.
Such amazing accessibility is made possible by MouseExtender, the freeware we will be reviewing today. This little program is your ultimate shortcuts panel. At only 110KB, you can instantly obtain the program and run the executable file; not even an installation is required.
Opening the program for the first time, here’s what you will see:
Three shortcut buttons have been predefined: Control Panel, Restart, and Shutdown (from left to right respectively). The Shutdown button can be customized to perform other actions such as Sleep and Hibernate. You can even set the timer as to when these actions take place and whether or not you want to force the system into them:
Once you have the program opened, if you click on anything else, MouseExtender will automatically minimize to the system tray.
According to the default settings, you can summon the minimized program anytime by the middle mouse button. This shortcut can be changed in MouseExtender’s settings. You can assign any mouse + keyboard combination you find convenient:
If you want the panel to be always visible, simply click the icon to the left of Minimize and Close buttons. Doing so will pin it to the desktop. Here’s how the icon looks before and after pinning:
Now let’s move on to the fun part: creating shortcuts on the panel. Right click on the program window and select the type of object you want a shortcut to:
In the case of File, Program, and Folder you are taken to a menu where you browse to the location and select your object. Once your shortcut has been created you can further edit it (including changing its icon) by right-clicking on it and choosing Edit Item:
If the same icon appears for more than one shortcut, just hover your mouse over a particular shortcut and its title will be revealed.
In case of adding a web address, you are presented with a window to enter the URL:
Once you click OK, you will be able to see the shortcut in your panel.
The shortcut will open with your default internet browser.
Right-clicking however is not the only way to add shortcuts to your MouseExtender panel. A user can drag and drop a folder, file, program, or even an internet shortcut into the panel and a shortcut is created.
MouseExtender also offers amazing organization. You can organize the shortcuts by moving them around, placing them before or after certain shortcuts. If your panel is getting a little crowded, create a new tab by selecting the option in the right-click menu. The program asks you to name your tab before it’s created. While the title is auto-hidden, it appears in orange when you point your pointer to it:
When you have your tab created, right-click on any shortcut and send it to that particular tab:
By categorizing your shortcuts in tabs, you reduce the clutter and give yourself a more presentable MouseExtender.
Overall, this shortcuts program is a great way to increase the accessibility of your items. Compatible with Windows XP, Vista, and 7 it will surely be a timesaver for a lot of computer users.